What is Iliotibial Band Syndrome? An Executive Mum's Guide to ITBS
As an executive mum, your days are filled with activities that keep you on the move. From managing high-stakes meetings to running after little ones, your dynamic lifestyle can put a strain on your body, particularly on your iliotibial band, leading to a condition known as Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS). Understanding ITBS is crucial for managing symptoms effectively and maintaining your active lifestyle.

The iliotibial band is a thick fascia—a fibrous tissue—extending from the outside of your hip down to the outer part of your knee. ITBS occurs when this band becomes inflamed or tight, typically manifesting as pain along the outer thigh and knee.  Chronic inflammation can cause the ITB to tighten, which then aggravates the pain by making the band rub against the outer knee or hip.  It's a common issue among those who are physically active.

ITBS is typically an overuse injury, which means it often results from repetitive motion activities such as running, cycling, or even prolonged walking. However, other factors can also contribute to the development of ITBS, including:
  • Poor training habits: Lack of proper warm-ups and cool-downs can contribute to the risk of ITBS.
  • Repetitive motion: Activities that involve continuous knee bending—like running, cycling, and climbing often trigger this condition.
  • Anatomical issues: Uneven leg lengths, inward-pointing feet, flat feet, or muscle imbalances in the lower limbs can exacerbate the strain on the iliotibial band.
  • Poor posture: Sitting habits, such as maintaining a lotus position or tucking one leg underneath you, can tighten and shorten the iliotibial band, leading to discomfort.

The primary symptom of ITBS is a nagging pain on the outer side of the knee or along the thigh, which might extend up to the hip and buttocks. This pain typically intensifies with activity and may become particularly noticeable when running or climbing stairs.

For executive mums, ignoring ITBS isn't just about dealing with pain. It can significantly impact your ability to perform both at work and at home. Addressing ITBS promptly ensures that you can continue to perform your duties effectively without discomfort.

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